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Head juror calls for change to terror laws

The foreman of the jury that cleared four men of plotting to release ricin on Britain's streets called last night for a complete overhaul of counter-terror legislation.

As ministers prepare to set out plans today to replace control orders, Lawrence Archer warned that many anti-terror laws were a "knee jerk reaction to 9/11" and a "sledgehammer to crack a nut".

Mr Archer had no interest in politics before the seven-month trial which ended with four Algerian men being cleared of plotting to make deadly poisons and explosives. Three of the men still face deportation.

He said: "All the arrests took place post-9/11. There was hysteria at the time. There were also issues about using evidence from the trial to get the UK involved in the Iraq war. I'm now very wary about so-called terrorism arrests." Mr Archer's book on the "ricin plot" is launched tomorrow.